Taxpayer-funded free NYC condoms sold for profit in Caribbean

NYC free condoms find their way to Dominican Republic stores (Pic: David Sim FlickrCC)
Free condoms handed out by the NYC health department have found their way to Dominican Republic stores. Credit: David Sim/FlickrCC

According to a bombshell exclusive in the New York Daily News, taxpayer-funded condoms, handed out for free in New York City, are being sold illegally for profit in the Caribbean. The city funds a $5.7 million sexual health program, allowing the New York City Health Department to give away 38 million NYC Condoms a year.

The program is aimed at preventing unwanted pregnancies and tackling the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.

But it was claimed today that the chic-looking NYC Condom, which comes in an assortment of varieties including extra large and ribbed, is being openly smuggled out of the city and sold for cash in the Dominican Republic.

Health department officials acknowledged they have caught some businesses shipping the free condoms out of the country, the Daily News reported.

The NYC condoms, clearly stamped “Not for Resale,” are sold for about 50 cents – undercutting the major brands such as Durex by more than half.

City Councilman Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan), chairman of the Health Committee, said: “These are supposed to be free for New Yorkers. We should ensure that no one is taking condoms from places in New York City where they are needed and selling them for profit out of the country.”

The NYC condoms are officially distributed by the Health Department to 3,500 nonprofit groups and businesses, including bars, restaurants, nail salons, barbershops and hospitals, for free distribution.

But at least five businesses have been axed from the program since it began in 2007 – at least one of them for shipping the free condoms to the Dominican Republic, it was reported.

A recent study from international market researcher Euromonitor International also backed the claims, saying: “The NYC brand is intended for free distribution to high-risk populations in New York City and is increasingly smuggled into the Dominican Republic and resold illegally.”

A health department spokeswoman played down the scale of the problem and said: “We estimate that the lost condoms are a very small percentage of overall distribution.”

The city has a pair of five-year contracts with condom maker Ansell, at a total cost of $5.7 million, to manufacture the condoms, according to the Daily News.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.